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Thread: 4x5 lenses: telephoto and portraiture

  1. #1
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    4x5 lenses: telephoto and portraiture

    Which size lens would be good for portraiture and for telephoto (landscape)? What is the difference with the lense physically? I currently have with my Chamonix 4x5 45H-1 camera a 75mm, 90mm, 150mm. Chamonix mentioned the following limits to me:: "The longest lens is 350mm at infinity. Shorter for portrait as it is closer."

    Thanks.

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    Re: 4x5 lenses: telephoto and portraiture

    You could use a longer lens by using an extended lens board.

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    Re: 4x5 lenses: telephoto and portraiture

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    You could use a longer lens by using an extended lens board.

    The Chamonix 45H-1 and 45Hs-1 has no official extension board since they are non-folding cameras.
    http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/ac...xtensionboards

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    Re: 4x5 lenses: telephoto and portraiture

    It's one of the disadvantages with the 45H-1, that you can not extend it. It has 350mm of bellows and that's it as far as I know.
    So , ordinary lenses perhaps up to about 270mm or thereabout would work for portraits, and perhaps a bit longer for landscapes.
    And then there is tele designs that could give you about 100mm more.
    I have a Fujinon T 400mm that works on my 45H-1. But there are disadvantages with tele lenses, usually limited movements compared, and problems when tilting and swinging due to the offset nodal point.

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    Re: 4x5 lenses: telephoto and portraiture

    Quote Originally Posted by lassethomas View Post
    The Chamonix 45H-1 and 45Hs-1 has no official extension board since they are non-folding cameras.
    http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/ac...xtensionboards
    But others do make extension lens boards, Wista has a modular one that comes with 2 add on 25mm extensions and adapters for 0, 1 and 3 size shutters. Additional 25mm screw in extenders are available optionally.

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    Re: 4x5 lenses: telephoto and portraiture

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    But others do make extension lens boards, Wista has a modular one that comes with 2 add on 25mm extensions and adapters for 0, 1 and 3 size shutters. Additional 25mm screw in extenders are available optionally.
    True, forgot about that. It could give you the extra centimeters you need.
    Just watch out with heavy lenses as it makes the front standard a bit unbalanced.

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    Re: 4x5 lenses: telephoto and portraiture

    Quote Originally Posted by lassethomas View Post
    True, forgot about that. It could give you the extra centimeters you need.
    Just watch out with heavy lenses as it makes the front standard a bit unbalanced.
    This one will give you about 75mm of extension, more with the 25mm optional rings. They make 2 versions. One specifically for Linhof cameras and the others for non Linhof cameras, like a Wista.
    The only caveat is that the rear lens group must be able to fit in the hole in the tube.

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    Re: 4x5 lenses: telephoto and portraiture

    You don't have to worry about movements when making portraits. Your sitter is unlikely to be able to hold still while you fiddle with front swings and tilts.
    Years ago I had a 4x5 Tachihara, with only 330mm of extension, and did several successful portraits with that camera. I used a Nikkor-M 300/9 lens. Although those were mostly 3/4 length portraits, not close-ups; if you want tight head & shoulders portraits, that Fuji 400T looks good. And its weight will be centered over the front standard, always a good idea. But I suppose the top-hat board would work too.

  9. #9
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 lenses: telephoto and portraiture

    Just for anyone who doesn't know, a telephoto design gives the angle of view of a longer lens at a shorter focusing range. So a 400mm telephoto might focus at infinity with around 250mm of bellows.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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    Re: 4x5 lenses: telephoto and portraiture

    "Which size lens would be good for portraiture and for telephoto (landscape)? What is the difference with the lense physically? I currently have with my Chamonix 4x5 45H-1 camera... The longest lens is 350mm at infinity"

    You might find it helpful to read this brief article which gives some helpful formulas: with a given prime lens (not a telephoto design) and available bellows draw, how close can we focus, how much magnification can we get, etc ?

    For example...

    If we consider a portrait as head and shoulders, that's a box around 20x25 inches, roughly 1/5 or 20% magnification onto 4x5 film.

    Given a 210mm lens where the desired magnification is 1:5, how much bellows extension is required ?

    M = (B-F) / F
    where M = magnification ratio, B = bellows extension, F = focal length

    M = 1/5, F = 210mm

    1/5 = (B-210) / 210
    1/5 * 210 = B - 210
    42 = B - 210
    Bellows Extension = 252mm

    So a 210mm lens will work for a head-and-shoulders portrait on a 4x5 camera, as long as we have at least 252mm of extension. Your camera provides that, with room to spare. You can play with the formulas to find out what is the longest lens you can use with 350mm of bellows draw, to get the magnification you want for portraits.

    If my calculations are correct, with a 300mm lens and 350mm of bellows extension, we can get (350-300)/350 or a 1:7 magnification, a rectangle around 28x35 inches. Maybe not an intimate close-up, but a fine portrait can made as such.

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